New Leadership Role Mentality with John Borman


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  • Zach:

Thank you, everybody, for listening to the K-12 tech podcast, as always. Zach Marvel, the host, and Jeff Botteron is the co-host. And today the topic is going into a new organization, being a new tech director or inside of a tech team and being a leader and working with the staff members there to create a really good team and maybe a team that you didn’t get to choose. But how can you get the most out of your people at your school and bring them together? And today, my guest is John Borman. We’ve known each other for a long time, but can you introduce yourself and just kind of what you’re doing currently?

  • John:

Yup. So John Borman, I worked with Zach probably about six years ago, seven years ago. I was one of his instructors at the Finance School House down at Fort Jackson, South Carolina. I have 20-30 years in the army.

As a finance officer, I’m actually getting ready to retire here shortly. In April of 2022. Currently, I am serving at the United States Military Academy as an assistant professor in their physical education department. I’m also serving as our chief of staff, so helping to run the department about 75 people looking forward to the next chapter in life as I transition out of service into the corporate sector, working and learning and development. I will also kind of launching a virtual coaching and consulting wellness company.

  • Zach:

Yeah. And I think one thing that’s just kind of a background. I was in the military for twelve years and went through the finance and ROTC and one of you know, everyone makes fun of me for this, but my last name is Marvel and I was Captain Marvel, and I just recently got out of the military. October first of 2021 And one thing I always appreciated about John was he was somebody who had a large focus on resiliency and life balance. And, you know, I had a lot of stuff going on. I’d started my business in college and went through ROTC and then went through military training, and I was married and I had my first kid and I am halfway across the country during training. And he just really he didn’t see it like, like a hindrance, but like a like an asset for my life. And I really, really appreciated that. But the big thing today, and I think what John can speak to is when you’re in the military about every two years, even quicker, two years is about the longest you’re you’re transitioned into a new position with with new soldiers and new people you’re in charge of. And right now, with tech directors being promoted and tech directors moving to different schools, I feel like this is a really good topic to talk about when it comes to people that you inherit in a school. And then how can you motivate them and bring them together as a team? And John, can you talk a little bit about just your history in the military and kind of some of the challenges and things you’ve learned the last few years going into new organizations just over and over and over again?

  • John:

Yeah. So I love the way you put that right? You enter a new organization. You don’t usually get to pick your team right? Very, very rarely in the military and even in civilian sector, you’re kind of stuck with who you have, right?

And it takes a while to build a team that select your team, right? So unless you’re a startup starting from scratch, you really have to go in and make the best of what you have. So really, in the military, you get very adept at figuring out really three key things, right?

And the first one is, OK, what is our mission right? What is our our prime objective? So if I’m going into a tech sector, well, what is it that we have to accomplish and that’s going to help drive the train right? And attached to that mission is going to be that vision, even that bigger, broader kind of picture that that helps provide that purpose and that direction to kind of push for it, right? Because as a leader, really, you’re there to help drive the train. But you do that through your people, right? You can’t do every role.

So most leaders, I think, kind of struggle with having that understanding of what is their responsibility within an organization if they think “Hey, I need to know what every person is doing, I need to be aware and be able to sit and do at every level.” And as a leader, I found that’s not the case, right? You just need to be able to help navigate the ship. So I would always tell junior leaders and senior leaders, You’ve got to understand the organization. You’ve got to understand, Hey, what direction are we going? How are we going there? And what are the measurables right? How are we going to know when we’re moving in the right direction? So that’s the second thing, right? Figure out what are your metrics? How do you measure success in the corporate world?

You guys call them KPIs. Key performance indicators. Very, very important that you understand. Hey. How do we measure success just because everybody’s working because money’s coming in well, are we actually accomplishing mission successfully? And then the last bit, I say is take time to understand your team, right?

That’s one of the things that I think really helped me succeed in all of my roles is I really wanted to understand who was on my team. So I would tell leaders, Hey, first 30 days, sit down and talk to everybody in your platoon or everyone in your company, everyone in your unit.

I really get to know them. What is it that they do? What is it that they want to do? What is it that are their strengths? What are their weaknesses? What are their hopes and kind of goals? And then you can really understand, OK, who do you have on your team? How can you put them in positions to where you can leverage their strengths? And where can you put them in positions where they can grow their skills? Because I think a lot of people assume that they’re just there for one task.

I have a tech advisor or I have a customer service rep, and that’s all they have to do. But as you talk to people and as I talk to soldiers, some of them have aspirations that are big in that some of them have goals that are bigger than some of their skill sets that aren’t being used. So being able to understand who you have on your team is really that that third piece.

  • Zach:

Yeah. You mentioned so many really, really good points there. And number one, understanding your mission right from a school. Your mission is to make sure that the devices in your environment and your network are running as as long as much as you physically can write like that is your overall mission.

And then how can your employees come together and do that? And you know, I see this time and time again where schools will complain or I’ll be talking with tech too early. They’ll say, like, I’ve got this guy, he’s not motivated or I’ve got this, this female employee who’s not motivated and I think a lot of that comes. There are I know this, there are people you can’t motivate that there is a reality to that. But so much more, I found out, is a third year in the wrong seat or there’s something else that sparks their interest or their job doesn’t seem important enough to take seriously.

And that’s another point as well in the military and another parallel it can be can be drawn between the army and, you know, in education and technologies. They typically don’t have the ability to get people like bonuses like like bonuses, like, Oh, you did a really good job on this. Here’s a bonus like, schools don’t have that capability. But as a leader, I would want to take stock of what freedoms do I have to give my employees if they do a good job? And that was one thing I really appreciated about what you did when I was out and when we were doing the instruction for finance was, this is your list of things that need to get done. And if you are doing it on your grades, you’re done for the day. It’s really simple, but so many people who who work in the government, it’s like, No, you get in at eight.

You leave it for every day. And then, however, I mean a task that can take the 15 minutes they’ll make take four hours because it doesn’t make any difference to them. So I just thought that was like a really good similarity to draw and like Jeff from coming from you, right, coming from a teacher and then going into turning organizations around. What what experiences have you seen like going into these charter schools and everything else to turn them around? What were some of the biggest issues you saw during that?

  • Jeff:

Well, I think so. If I take the list that John just provided and I’m going to, I’m going to say it backwards. I understand your team. Know your metrics. Focus on your mission and achieve your vision. And with that said, I think that where it gets really blurry for organizations is certainly and knowing the strengths and weaknesses of the team in particular, when you come in because you’re assuming that the people that are filling the roles are occupying roles that they are good at or that they have a skill set for, that’s not always the case.

So John, talk to me first with understanding the team. What are some things that make sense to go in and start understanding that? Because that was one of the biggest things that I realized when it came to school turnaround is that if we could just shuffle the right people into the right spots, we would significantly improve our performance. And one specific example of that was a secretary that turned out to be the best gift to technology that we could find because she had the organizational skill set to manage a Trello board, which is nothing more than just a basic scrum board to help keep people organized.

She could manage that, distribute everybody’s work evenly and keep everybody on task. That was a blessing to the team. How do you go about discovering the strengths of the team when you walk into somebody that’s new or just started, you know, in a new role within that same company? Right? Yes, I think that’s really the hardest part for most people. How can I identify in a really short setting where your strengths and weaknesses lie, right? And there’s big money out there trying to identify strengths, weaknesses, right?

  • John:

So you’ve got surveys you can take, you’ve got all these programs you can do. The biggest thing I found is literally just having a conversation, right, sitting down with someone and going over kind of hate roles and duties.

What do they like? What do they not like, right? And as you start to peel back in and right, as I sit down with a soldier and say, Hey, what is it about this job that gives you motivation? What fires you up? What don’t you like, right? If you could take away one thing and not do that, what would it be, right? If I could simplify yours or if I could help you? All right. So just having that one on one conversation I have found is the quickest way to start really identifying what motivates them, what drives them, where their passions, where their skills maybe find out what they do in their free time, right? Like you said with your person, right? Very, very organized. So now I’ve got a skill set where, hey, they are very detail oriented right now.

I can start giving them other projects, and I like to call them kind of growth challenges, right? So I like to take my team and I trust first. So I’m going to assume you can do the job. I’m going to give you additional responsibilities or additional task to grow your your ability up until the point where you let me down. So that’s the piece I think a lot of people are afraid of is they’re afraid of overwhelming their team or they’re afraid of what happens if they fail, right? And by doing that, they put them in this nice little safe box with padding and they don’t really stretch them.

And I tell people that in life, just like in the military, you have to be uncomfortable to have growth. So I have to put you in a stretch position. I have to put you in a deal where you’re taking on more responsibility than maybe you wanted to see. Right? Are you going to thrive or are you going to succumb to it, right? So that kind of push pull and that’s where the art of leadership comes. You need to know how hard to push, how to pull back.

Zach, you talked about, right? How do I motivate someone who I love? I love the topic of motivation because it’s one of those where every single person is motivated slightly differently, right? So some people are motivated by money some are by time off, some are by appreciation, and or some of them are just internally motivated. So I have a massive load of intrinsic motivation and I take pride in everything I do, but understanding that every single person is coming to that organization for a different reason. Some people are just there to earn a paycheck punch clock do the minimum. Some people are there because they want to do more. So figuring that piece out really, really goes a far way and again, having that conversation, right?

Hey, if, if, if you wanted like, what’s going to motivate you to work more, right? How could I influence you? And then just understanding what lever to pull? Right? I love that quote of right. You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.

OK. Step one. That’s true. But as a good leader, I can ride that horse to make him hot. Make him sweaty. Make them thirsty. I can feed that horse. Hey, to make them thirsty, right? So there’s other opportunities. Just because the horse made it to the water doesn’t mean we’re done right. There are still other things I can do to help get that horse to drink water. So that’s where I think as leaders like just because the incentive of a promotion or just because the incentive of pay wasn’t up.

OK, well, there’s something else there’s. Some other type of trigger you just have to take and put in the time in the effort to do it and and really the the fastest way is those conversations. You have to have an open door, small sensing sessions, right? And most people aren’t going to open up, right? If I send a survey out, you know, I’ve got a 100 people that are working under me and I send this blanket survey out and say, Hey, you know, give me your honesty back.

They’re not. You have to sit down and I tell people in 30 minutes, you can find out a lot about someone. So set up your time and start what your key leaders for. Right? Because those are going to help drive your mission bigger than starting from the bottom up.

So start with your key leaders for your top three people. Talk to them. Figure out, OK, what strings for those, and then work down to the next level and then the next level, right? And then you can also empower those people, right? As you get what I call your trusted advisers, as you figure out who your key players are in, those key positions have them doing the same thing because a lot of companies don’t take the time to assess their team. Right. I think once you get away from that direct first line supervisor, a lot of the other leaders think, Hey, I’m too busy doing other stuff. I’m too busy looking further in the future. I’m too busy handling stuff. So they forget to really, hey, let’s let’s figure out the health of the team, the wellness, the team. And taking that five minutes, ten minutes, 30 minutes to really. Build the relationship, I think is is is less. That’s, I think, where we’re lacking as far as leadership in general.

  • Zach:

Yeah. This is like a couple of things that I’ve learned through the military, but also just through owning a business and having employees is where there’s these two thoughts that are conflicting, right? The first thought is if I push my employees really hard, they’re not going to enjoy their work.

So I just need to kind of let them go at their own pace. And then you see that like, oh, you know, they want to be able to look beyond their phones or whatever. Those people enjoy their job way less than the people and that’s something that’s really important in your organization in meeting is making sure people understand what’s so important about what they’re doing. And then you set it to load them up, like, have high expectations for them and then have benefits for them getting that done on time and getting it done well. But those conversations can’t, can’t be more important. That’s like something that I’ve taken through the military is is have have it on your calendar. Hey, three times a week, I’m going to do a half hour and then just keep moving through your staff members and get to know them, get some updates. Or I think that’s a really good point.

  • John:

Yeah, I mean, some of the civilized lunches, right? I used to do work and lunches. I would treat people who would go out to lunch. I’d pay for their lunch or we do dinners or sometimes, you know, breakfast. I bring in stuff. They just sit down, have a meal or someone talk on this. Think about it, right? Relationship one on one as the basics.

  • Jeff:

And as you go through that, one of the things that’s really sticking out to me is, you know, you touched on this idea of get to know your trusted advisers and that as a new leader coming into the organization, you have to understand there is zero chance that you will be able to understand what you need to know in the timeframe you need to know it. The trusted advisor network is critical. Doing those lunches to develop that network totally makes sense. I’ll tell you the other thing that’s tracking with this 30 minute conversation or randomly scheduled conversations here up front is that you’re going to find out those individuals that want to be part of helping you develop your plan as a new leader coming into the organization and those that want to receive the plan. They’re good soldiers. They’re going to do what’s asked of them. They don’t really have a desire to get into the weeds with everything that’s going on, but others are going to and that’s going to help you really understand how to motivate those different players. Some are motivated by a clear game plan. This is what I need to do and execute on, and others are saying I need to be part of crafting that because I’ve got some institutional knowledge that I think you’ll benefit from. So I love the approach and the direction that you’re leading us here.

  • Zach:

Yeah, one thing in one, if you can kind of elaborate on the importance of this, when you look at organizational leadership really few, there’s a few places where you can find better research and data than than the military just over the history of the world. For thousands of thousands of years in the United States, has United States military has this rule of seven like one person should never be in charge of more than seven people. So obviously, there’s a lot of schools out there.

You might only have two or three people that work for you, so that doesn’t come into effect. But for those larger districts that have a lot of people, there are so many more opportunities for you to have layers of managers who are managing employees and they have their teams.

Can you talk a little bit about that and about who you’re looking for to be a team leader? Like, maybe it’s not there the most technologically minded or the most specific minded? Like what? What, what attributes are you looking for in somebody, right? You are a leader.

  • John:

Yeah. So in and and I could appreciate this and kind of the tech sector, and I’m sure you have a lot of people that are very, very smart at what they do right? And in the finance world, we have the same thing, right. I have soldiers that are amazing at what they do. They can do their task without even looking right. They don’t have to look it up. They don’t have resources. You know how to code, they know how to program. That doesn’t necessarily make them a good leader. Right. So just because you know how to do your job very, very well, there are key personality traits and key qualities and key attributes that really help define a leader. And that’s what you need to look for, right?

What you want to do is identify the people that one know how to connect with others, right? Because at the end of the day, if you’re leading, it is a people business, regardless of what industry you’re you’re operating, and the ability to lead is the ability to influence others, right?

And if I cannot make a connection, there’s no way I’m going to influence you, right? The days of leading out of fear are gone, right? No one’s going to work for a boss that’s just leading because I said so.

So step number one is find the people who can actually make connections. They know how to have that emotional intelligence. To be able to talk to people to be active. Listen to understand where they’re coming from. That’s the first thing. second thing is you’ve got to have people that are driven to performance, right? You want someone that’s going to be very cognizant of their time and their resources. Some people that are very good at connecting spend too much time worrying about the connections.

So I’ve made the mistake before of putting the mama bear in charge of the unit. And she has to worry about, Hey, Kumbaya, let’s bring everybody together. That’s all. Just talk about it. And then the job’s not getting done. So you need someone that has that balance of, hey, I can also still keep track of the requirements. I still also know what needs to be done when I can set priorities. And then that third piece is you need someone that has the ability to be an honest broker.

And this, I have found, is getting harder, excuse me, harder and harder to find, right? The ability to have candor, the ability to give feedback when it’s possibly going to upset someone, the ability to be honest about someone’s performance. Hey, you’re not able to toe the line. Hey, your performance is lacking. Hey, you’re not showing up the way you should be right to be. To sit down and have that honest conversation is becoming harder and harder to find because everyone’s worried about being the bad guy. Everyone’s worried about being the hammer. Well, a good leader, you can be both right. I can be both the hammer and the glove, right? I can help soften the blow, but I need to give them feedback, right? I’m not going to sit there and tell my team, Hey, you’re doing amazing things when we’re failing at our mission.

So that’s those those three characteristics is what I’m going to look for if I’m going to promote someone to be a leader.

  • Zach:

Yeah. And one thing you brought up is very, very important and we touched on a little bit KPIs. It’s going to be very hard to have somebody to uphold rules if they’re not clear and very hard to approach somebody in a healthy way.

If that person doesn’t know that they’re not already meeting those expectations. And one thing that we’ve had to make an initiative in our business is we have it’s not a score card, but essentially it’s a way to measure somebody’s productivity in the workplace and everybody can see everybody’s numbers.

We have a big like 70 inch TV and everybody’s numbers are up there. You know, if they were tardy or whatever, it’s just out for everybody to see. So when we call somebody in for a meeting, they know exactly where they stand.

There’s no question they’re like, Oh, I thought I was killing it, and then they get taken down a couple of notches, right? But what that allows us to do is they come in more with some humility and be like, Hey, I know I need to improve and you can build upon that.

But when people off guard and they don’t know if they’re performing well or not, that’s on your job as a leader to make sure they know that, know what’s expected of them and know how they’re doing at all times.

Is there a way you can do that inside your organization?

  • John:

Right? Yeah, as in as Jack’s right, that’s what we call them in the military, right? The ability to always know where you are right, either within your rank and file. So rack and stack, right? Because that’s what I have to do.

If I have ten lieutenants working for me at the end of the ratings cycle or the end of the year, I have to rank them one through ten. Right? And the person who’s ten should have a very good understanding of why they are tense.

The person who’s first should have a very good understanding why they’re frustrated. So having the ability to give that honest assessment check, Hey, are you on like that? And then the other piece is, do they know what success is right?

Do they know that hey, at your company, I have to show up to work on time. I have to do X amount of tasks a day. I have to be able to do this right. I have to to have a rating of X right.

By spelling those out in the beginning and any follow up conversation now that basically it, right? Hey, remember we talked about succeeding in this role. You said you were going to do this and this and this. Are you doing it?

Are you not right? Because now it becomes a lot easier to help rack and stack right? And like Jeff said, if you can get them to buy in, right? So when you’re sitting down and you’re building those metrics and you’re saying, Look, hey, this is what I think success is, what what is success to you?

And now they have the buy in. So they have some ownership of, Oh hey, if I’m able to do this and this and this, I think I’m succeeding. OK, now you can look at that, you can build that plan and now you have that buy in where we’re both understanding what our key metrics are.

And I can provide value because it’s very, very clear. And I think clarity within any organization is key, right? If you don’t know what you’re being graded on and you get that great report at the end, you’re going to have some, some some tears or some anger.

We’re like, Hey, look, I thought I was doing awesome. No one told me different. Why am I not the number one? So having that up front? I love the fact that you have it posted. Right? That is amazing, right?

Having that ability to see yourself compared to your peers is huge. Right. And I think a lot of companies don’t do that right. They just kind of allow them to stovepipe. And then when it comes time for promotion, there’s really no rhyme or reason why someone gets promoted and someone doesn’t write so off, you know, Hey, look, this is a top performer. They’re doing all these things to be the top performer. Now they know that, OK, hey, this is probably going to be the next person that gets promoted.

  • Zach:

Yeah, it’s really difficult from the military standpoint of it’s unfortunately the biggest driver, especially at the lower levels time and great right track and minimum standards. And you’re there for my time. And I think that’s why the military is struggling to keep good people who are motivated and are creative and how to get jobs done. That’s what’s really hard right is it’s not even against the military. It’s hard when you’re an organization. I mean, I don’t know. I think it is the largest it is.

  • John:

Has the brass, the largest organization trying to get promotion. It’s it’s tough. You’re right, it’s right on the officers side. That’s that’s where you see it the most right you guys might look like. If you look at all the grads, right, they come on. You come out of school, you’ve got a degree from a top school, you’ve got opportunities out there, right? And if you know that in the first five years, no matter how hard you work, you’re only going to get promoted to captain, right?

No matter how much you do, you’re going to cap. All right. So I think what you see is at that five or eight year mark, a lot of really, really dynamic leaders leave the forces right. They either jump out completely or they shift from active duty into a guard or reserves. That way, they can then take their talents and help accelerate their progression because in the corporate world, it’s different, right? If I come in and I’m hard charging or if I have on business and I’m hard charging, I can really accelerate that, that trajectory, that promotion.

And the other side, it isn’t. The army has done a lot to try to improve that right. They’ve done a lot of where they’ve tried to pay less less remove the dead weight with targeted evaluations and being more specific about what we’re doing for grading criteria, but they haven’t really mastered. OK, what do we do for those overachievers, those people that it come in and they’re running circles around their peers, they haven’t figured out that solution. So it is it is very hard to see, OK, do I grind it out for 20 years having the same expectation that that the the the lowest performer will also get in in 20 years, right? So that’s and stuff. And I think the bigger the organization, the more that becomes prevalent. The ability to promote and recognize talent becomes harder.

  • Zach:

No, I agree. You know, Jeff, one thing I wanted to touch and we touched on this a little bit in a previous podcast about removing the ceiling for other people. So I think there’s two sets of leaders, right? There’s leaders who are like, I am here for my people, for their future, with me or without me, they’re going to succeed. And then there are people like, I’m here to look good, so you guys just need to stay in your spots and I’ll take care of it.

So, Jeff, you kind of alluded to your goal is I’m going to bring you in, I’m going to get you experience so that you can go off and get that higher position. Can you talk a little bit about that and that focus?

  • Jeff:

Well, elevating individuals that you are directly supervising has to be part of your overall strategy, they have to feel that you are helping them get to the next round. The way that you do that is, quite frankly, through clear scorecards that you guys have been talking about. There has to be a clear understanding of what folks are essentially aiming for and how what they’re aiming for ties back to the overall organizational goals. And I tend to find that that’s a component is lacking is people lack an understanding of why they’re being asked to do what they’re being asked to do and how that contributes to the bigger picture. So making sure that you truly have an environment where your key performance indicators from one level feed into the goals of the next level and so on, so that you can see that my contribution here is going to help me help the organization and in doing so, help me elevate myself.

Now, as you think about retaining folks and promoting folks, yeah, there’s there’s there’s things that you have to know about your organization coming in and especially as a new leader, it’s assessing this, which is if I get a highly talented person. What are the chances that I am going to be able to retain that person for one year, sometimes it may even be six months, right, but six months, one year, two years, three years. You have to know that because that’s also going to influence the systems and the processes that you ultimately end up developing and the KPIs that you measure against. So is the work that they’re doing repeatable? If it needs to be repeatable because you expect quick transitions, then that ought to be a KPI. And this is where actually, I’d like to kick it back to John because I’m curious.

And that comes to the second thing that you mentioned. So the first thing was understanding the team, and I think that we really touched on that in the first part here. But the second part was metrics. So as a new leader, I’ve got to come in and I’ve got to determine what are the most important metrics for me to be looking at what are the most important metrics for those that report to me to be looking at and figuring all of that out within a pretty short timeframe? Talk to me, how do I do that if I just walk into a new role?

  • John:

Right? Yeah, I think measuring results, right? KPIs identifying, Hey, what is it we’re going to measure? How are we going to assess it, where we are capturing data, who’s capturing the data, how are reporting it is key. And that’s where I think a lot of organizations struggle when a new leader comes in and wants to change the focus or wants to change the deliverables, right? I think as a leader, you have to assume that whatever KPIs have been operating on that company are valid and useful because that’s what got them to that point. What I would suggest is digging into those and saying, Hey, are we actually measuring the things that matter? Are we measuring the things that move the needle? The easy solution is look at industry standards, right? So every industry out there has, you know, leaders in thought leader positions, right? So you have, you know, current relevant research and data being out there?

And how are they measuring it right? I always look at awards, right? So every industry has, you know, year end awards and they have measurables that they’re measuring off of to determine, Hey, this is the top company in the industry. These are the top leaders. So find those, what are they comparing? What are they using as an assessment tool and use those right? So use those metrics that are widely available to make sure that you’re measuring the right things and then really look at it how those paired to the bottom line.

So I learned about alpha and beta testing, right? AB testing when when you’re going into a thing, having a control and saying, OK, hey, what moves the needle, right? If I try to do too many things at once, I won’t be able to isolate what is moving that needle. So really having control within my things? And what am I measuring? And is that actually having the impact as an educator? I love measurement, right? Because I love the challenge of how do you measure impact, right? Because I’ve taught thousands of students over and all my school houses, how can I ensure that what I had had a measurable impact, right? And trying to figure out, OK, what is the impact of education or what is the impact of learning? What is the impact of doing your job accordingly? Those are the things that I don’t think we as as educators or even in the industry, do a really good job at seeing, OK, those qualified and quantifiable tasks. How do you measure those effectively? How do you get those results when you have that all star that that only work for a short time? Those, you know, measurable results that that happen once they’re gone and it’s tough. And I think it’s picking those those key indicators and really identifying what it is within that, how you can measure it, how you can simply report it and then track it. And for me, I always just take, Hey, what are we using as a national right? So when I sit down with the leader, I have, what were you guys being graded on? What did success look like? How are we measuring it? And the army were big on surveys. I don’t like surveys because a survey, depending on when you take it, is really going to adjust your attitude, right?

So if I had a bad day and I sit down for my annual survey, yeah, this place sucks. Everybody sucks is a horrible job, no balance. So I always caution people by using like one and done surveys. You need to have something measurable, something where I could bring in an outside consultant. They could sit there for a couple of days and they could give you measurable data. So you need, you know, whether that’s tied to ours, whether it’s had informants, whether that’s tied to dollars coming in client acquisition, customer satisfaction, something has got to be something that is black and white, measurable to where you don’t have the ability to lie to yourself, right? And as a leader, I think a lot of times we want to see positive, right? I want to see good reason. Also, I want to see success. Well, you have to have a metric in place that is not fallible, something that, hey, it’s as the God, honest truth, and now you have that reality. So I think that’s. one of the biggest challenges I would say, hey, start at the start of the industry standard and then adapt from there.

  • Jeff:

Now, Zach, I want to get back to your question too after this, which was, you know, what do you do when you have that quick transition? Like, I love the fact that you’re talking industry standards because whether you have quick transitions or you have long time employees, you’re still responsible for hitting the industry standards.

So as the leader coming in, you’ve got to be able to assess your your kind of talent portfolio and know, do I need to bring in more talented people? What’s going to be the opportunity cost of bringing in more people? It might be quicker transitions. If you make that analysis that it’s quicker transitions, your industry standards don’t change. Those are the industry standards. What might change is your own goal set, which is how do I accelerate the rate at which this person reaches a level of competence to quickly serve the organization? And then how do I accelerate that with each successive hire? And those systems and processes are things that we see lacking. It just just just in and large quantities in the turnaround schools that we have to go into. The systems and processes that allow talented people to come in for a short period of time, make a contribution, lead and the next talented person to come in and pick up where they left off are just almost completely lacking. If we can get to those as part of the other metrics, we have to be measuring that the other metrics are important, but we have to be measuring that as we go through.

  • Zach:

Yeah, I think one thing is that it is important. And when I reference removing the ceiling, is you it like if you have someone who is extremely talented, I think for a lot of people are like, OK, I just want to make them comfortable, right? That’s the last thing you should be doing. Your conversation with those employees should be, what do you want to do? We talked about like getting to know them. But how can I help you get there? And then how can you help train people to have a lot of your accolades, a lot of your capabilities below you? And that’s been something that’s been great. And I think this is a great way to judge yourself. And if you’re a good leader, is what motive what excites you and brings you value. Is it your own accolades or is it when employees leave and then they succeed in another organization?

I can tell you some of my some of my best joys in business has been employees who have been great and have worked for me, and I’ve written them just great referrals for any job they wanted and tried to help them get there and watch them and families and houses and all of these things. That brings a lot of joy. So as a leader, how are you helping your employees get to that next step? And that might not be with you? But I tell you what, if you know someone who is ambitious and really talented, they’re not going to stick around to be weighed down by that. I think that’s important.

  • Jeff:

No, but I will add this and this goes with that kind of sense of joy and pride that you feel as they grow. They feel that same thing, too. And if you communicate to that up front, you recognize their talent when they come in, you know that this is going to be a relatively short stop. Hey, we’ve got two years to help you develop these skills. They understand that here’s what I need from you in return for what I’m going to help you achieve. You’ve now got somebody who’s got your back. You’ve got that loyalty because you had that upfront communication that you understand.

This isn’t a long term gig for them, and that’s OK, especially in the modern workforce, right? We know that people are transitioning jobs quickly. If we can have that upfront communication about how we are going to help accelerate their career and they’re going to help our organization grow as a result of their stepping up, then taking that step. I think you get that mutualistic relationship. It’s so important in today’s economy.

  • John:

Yes, that’s the piece you talked about, Jeff, with the ability to put in systems and processes in place, right? If I have an all star on the team in the army, we call them as a standard operating procedures, right? The ability to capture why they are doing amazing, right? What are the systems they have in place, a lot of the processes they have in place? How have they mastered that art and then have that as that transition piece?

So once they’re gone, that next person doesn’t have to start from scratch? And I think I think we lose sight of that a lot of times, right? I know, I know I’ve fallen in on positions where it’s like no one left me the guide book right. I don’t have anything, so I’m literally having to rebuild from scratch. Recreate the wheel. So having those in place, right? And as a key leader, identifying, Hey, these are my all stars, give them the time to create those systems and processes, give them the time to document how they’re doing it. So that way now you have that training tool to then use to go, because that’s the other side of a leaders, right? What’s that key players got? You shouldn’t have any dip, right? If they were really a good leader. I can plug and play and I can figure out because I’m forward looking and I’m proactive and I say, Hey, look, I’m about to lose this stutter, stood it. That’s crushing it for me. I might have to bring two people in to carry the load for this one person, right? But I know that because, hey, we’ve been making this glide path and I know expectations. I know what I’ve got. But yeah, in this day and age, Gary Vee says it very well, right? Hire fast, fire faster. Promote fastest right.

You’ve got to be able to really, really figure out how do you incentivize those that are crushing it for you? How do you get them to want to stay or if they do need to leave? How do you set this ad up for success for the person that’s going to backfill that person.

  • Zach:

You know, going back to focus on, I will say I’m a new tech director going into a new a new environment that I’m not I’m not familiar with. I think that one of the biggest mistakes you can make is to go in and say, I’m going to make all these changes day one. That’s why knowing your team is so important to start and a lot of business folks talks about this, like don’t change anything right away, you know? I mean, if the ship is sinking, you know, plug some holes, but really, you need to get to know your staff. And then if you see something that you’re like, this isn’t a patient or this is a good, ask them, why do we do it this way and let them own it? Let them own let let these employees own why they’re doing it, and they might not be able to explain it to you. And that’s a great team to be like, Hey, what if we made these changes? But I think one thing just to just to focus on developing your team is asking those questions, and a really good friend of mine has bought and sold hundreds of businesses.

From what I understand and talking with him is he just said, Zach, with your organization, just try to change one or two things among, yeah, small things. And he goes, by the end of three years, you’ve done 36 to 64 different improvements on a business. But if you try to change everything at once, you won’t accomplish anything.

  • John:

Yeah, you have to understand people are resistant to change, right? We are creatures of habit, whether we like to admit or not, right? Even the people that I love change. I love to think no. At the end of the day, you like habits because they’re easy. They become routine, right? Think about it. Everybody has the same morning habit. Why do you get out? Go shower? You put your clothes on the same way you take the same route. When you drive to work, you do the same yourself because it becomes routine. You don’t have to think about it. So as a leader, if you think you’re going to come in and you’re like, Hey, look, I’ve got this amazing new way that we’re going to just completely renovate what we’re doing. You’re going to get a lot of resistance, you’re going to get a lot of pushback. Jeff mentioned it earlier, though when I talk to people now, they can be part of the solution, right? I can say, Hey, look, guys, we didn’t meet numbers last quarter. Why was that? What do you think we can do different now? I’ve got input coming in now. I’ve got buy in now. As we’re implementing changes, it’s changes that are needed, changes that they saw fit. So that’s the other right? Get them to have the idea, get them to take ownership and then you just have to be that proving factor, right? That sounds like a great idea. Let’s put it in. Let’s see how it works and then go from there.

But yeah, I’ve seen too many leaders, especially junior leaders, that arrive at a unit and they’re like, Hey, look, I’ve got this great idea. We’re going to do it my way. And they’ve got people that have been in that unit 15, 20 years in the military, been doing it, done that, got the T-shirt. And looking at this new junior leader, like you don’t even know what you’re talking about, what do you mean? Like, there’s no reason to change, but sometimes having that mentality of, OK, I’m going to challenge the status quo, why are we doing what we’re doing, right? Does it make sense? Is it the most effective way? Is the most efficient way now you can then start peeling back then and say, OK, well, just because you’ve done it this way, what’s the harm in trying something different? Or is this really moving the needle? Or do we still need to do that? Is it still viable?

  • Jeff:

I love it. John, let’s talk. Let’s touch on the pandemic as well, because the pandemic has this in an ed tech setting has completely changed the game. And what I mean by that is that the tech director that came in ten years ago with a solid plan rooted in their technology background no longer is going to have the distinct marketplace advantage. They must bring in perspectives from their leaders. And so, so I don’t know how important this is in the military and with your experiences, but I see this increasing needed in K-12 education to have cross-functional advisors, a cross-functional team with advisors from those other areas to help you understand if I make this switch, what are my ripple effects and really dove deep into how that ultimately is going to track towards you being able to help help help your organization achieve its mission long term vision? Talk to me a little bit about what you know about that and the military or in your experience.

  • John:

Yeah. So I love that that, right? So how do people succeed in life, right? One of the things I’ve adapted is there’s no such thing as a self-made millionaire, right? Everybody who’s achieving had a team to help them, right? Whether they gave them money, whether they gave them support, whether they gave him information, whether they became a client. So no one is out there making it on their own. And as a leader, the sooner you can figure out that you don’t know everything, the sooner you can become an effective leader.

That the concept of a trusted board of advisors is awesome because literally I’m making an app called Inner Circle to where you build your ten closest advisors, right? So so I build my team of support. Very, very useful. If you’re an entrepreneur, very, very useful if you’re a leader, right? Having that structure of folks that are outside of your industry, folks that have a different viewpoint. Right. If I’m if I’m an educator, right? Having that cross-functional team, being able to go to the different departments and understand how my actions have second third order effects, that ability to shine a light on some area that I’m blind on, right? If I just talk to my team, we’re going to be planning in a vacuum, right? And as a tech educator or a K-12 tech person, right? If I’m not talking to the end users and I’m not talking to the administrators and I’m not talking to the teachers, I’m building in a vacuum and the odds of that succeeding are drastically lower than if I had key players that could sit in on my meetings, right?

That trusted board of advisors that are going to help give me that feedback that honest, you know, no kidding, look at, how well have you thought about this or who have you talked about that or why are you doing it that way? Or what problem are you trying to solve or why are you doing that? Right. And I think as we evolve in this pandemic has shown us that, hey, look, people are moving and pop and quick right? And having the ability to make those connections and build those relationships and have people that can quickly access help you out and talk across the aisle is huge. Like, that’s that’s the only way you’re going to thrive in this environment. There’s no longer the need of, Hey, I can just do one thing really well. Well, if you want to lead dynamically, you have to be multifaceted and you have to shrink your ego.

I think, Zach, you’re kind of touched by this, right? You cannot be going for you, right? And anybody who’s ran a company or anyone who’s who’s been in a leadership position, you quickly figure out it’s not about what you can do. Nobody cares about what you do as an individual. It’s about what your team can do. Right. So once you figure out that the praise isn’t for you, it’s for the team, that’s huge. So once you give them the power, you give them the appreciation, you give them the spotlight and you step back and raises everyone right.

I got a saying that I love it, and it’s a rising tide raises all ships, right? So if you can spread the love, if you can spread the energy, everyone is going to succeed. A lot of leaders want that spotlight. They want that onus of, Hey, if I’m not here, the mission is going to fail. Well, you’re a horrible leader. If that’s your concept, if you have to be there for the the job to get done. You’re not a leader. It’s just how it is.

  • Zach:

You know, one thing I wanted to talk about this is another. Sorry. Another thing that the military in theory, does well. They don’t use it well, but something I’ve taken into the workplace. And so important is counseling. Documentation counseling are a positive and a correction thing as well. I think a lot of people say, Oh, I got counseled today by my manager. People think, Oh, that’s a bad thing. And it adds a stigma to it, right? You don’t you don’t know how you’re doing until you get that negative counseling. And one thing if if I was coming into a new organization, the first thing I would do is I would sit down with them and I would do a good counseling, say, Hey, I just want to document these are my expectations. Have them sign, you want to have those expectations out there and then do it on a monthly basis. I think a lot of people, when they think about documenting and meeting, you’re like, Oh, that’s just a hassle or something extra. It has paid dividends in the last few years that we’ve incorporated it. Every every employee meets with their manager goes over their numbers for the month. You need to improve. You don’t need to improve if you don’t improve these are the repercussions. It’s very, very clear. And if someone’s doing really well it’s, hey, you’re doing really well. If you can meet these metrics, I can try and get you into a new position or get you a raise.

It goes both ways. And with that, what you’re doing, there’s a there’s a great book called Traction, but it references this the saying of people don’t remember something until they’ve heard it several times, correct? seven times. So if you’re doing that monthly, that monthly meeting and you’re doing those weekly meetings, you are going to get those important attributes through to your people a lot quicker than if you’re just counseling them twice a year for something they did wrong, you know, being late or something like that. Have you seen that like on the military side? You know, I know the military typically is just like, Oh, we got to do our quarterly counseling, but that’s not what they were made for now yet.

So two things, right? One, on the other side, you get less and less feedback, right? A lot of a lot of the time spent as a leader, as an officer is lonely, right? You’re not getting that as an as checked monthly. You’re not getting that feedback. You might get it clearly. You’re lucky if you get it annually right or when you get your year end report. So you just kind of have to figure out how to move on your own or go and get that feedback, right? So what I would do is if if I was uncertain how I was performing, I would just go ask her and I’d schedule a session and and go talk to my boss or my mentor and just get some feedback. But that is right, as is the ability to sit down and document what’s going on right. And I love the rule of that right as that’s you building awareness and then decision. Structure, right, it works in sales, it works and leading the ability to get them understanding what your expectations are. Get them understanding what reality looks like and how you’re measuring it, right? Let them know the insights that that you’re seeing. And it’s a two way street, right? I used to get mad at people when they’d say, Hey, look, there’s there’s times where it needs to be a one way counseling. There’s never a time where it needs to be a one way. And even even if it’s bad, right? Even if I’ve got to fire an employee, right? Maybe they’re stealing from me. Maybe they’re never showing up. Maybe they’re doing horrible work… well, I can still get some insight from them, right? I can still say, OK, hey, from a leader, how did I fail you? Right? What? What did I set up to where you thought this was OK, right? Was it a matter of poor leadership, poor communication?

So I think having that sit down, even even on a negative situation like you’re going to learn something, you’re going to learn a method of adjustment, you’re going to hear something. Maybe it’s more widespread than just the one person, right? Maybe they’re going to open up and tell you about other issues that you have going on in your company that you’re blind to. So taking the time to help them see themselves is also going to help you see yourself.

Yeah. one thing you said too, I think, is very important. You said you come in trusting, right? And that’s very important. I think people who come in and they’re negative and they’re like, I don’t know if you’re competent before you go in trusting. But there’s two things that I think are very similar, but important to say is trust, but verify. Right? So it’s like, OK, I trust you, but I’m going to verify this information. And then there’s this other thing in the military that I’ve heard consistently. The only things that get done are the things that are checked.

  • John:

That’s right. We’ll get check ins on now.

  • Zach:

And that as a leader, especially in education, in technology, if you tell somebody, Hey, these are your tasks, if you are checking those things, don’t assume that they’re being done. That should be something you’re doing as a leader. Say, Hey, here your task. Check in with me at the end of the day. Let’s go through right now. Trust, but verify. And I think that’s important, especially as you’re building trust with your team in building your team up.

  • John:

Yeah. And I think the other key pieces and this is where I think people don’t understand the process of trust, right? Trust is a sliding scale, right? I might trust you to come to work on time, but that doesn’t mean I’m going to trust you with my company credit card, right? Trust is this big spectrum where I can slide it up and down, right? So I can. You can earn a line of thing, but the only way I know that you’ve got that trust is by checking up, right that validating verifying periodic check ups on the spot. Right? But that’s huge, right? If you only have X amount of hours in a day and you have 30 tasks and you can only get to ten of them, which ones are you going to do? You’re going to do the ones that the boss cares about. You’re going to do the ones that your leader is going to check at the end of it, right? That’s achieving your priority. And then the rest of them, you’ll get to if you can. So having a clear understanding with, Hey, these are my top priorities, these are the no kidding tasks that have to be done.

I think also helps out as well. But but yeah, I used to tell you all the time, right? I can give you a task. I can tell you how to do the task. But if I don’t go and make sure the task is done, I will never know, right? Because because I’ve given you the properties, I’ve given you, the things I’m going to assume and what happens when you assume makes an ass out of you and me, right? So that’s why I tell people, don’t assume, don’t hope.

In one hand, hope is not a method. If I hope you’re doing your job, I’m doing wrong. I should know and I know because I checked or I put someone in position to check or I have checks and balances out there like honest brokers. And the same thing goes for leaders. And this is where I think I think you see some issues as some leaders think they’re above being checked, right? So they don’t have positions. So I always did was, I would be honest, right? It’s a test right. As a as a commander, I wouldn’t have to take a peek if I didn’t want to. I could have just, oh, let me just sign away in my car. I made sure that during the beta test, I was the first one to go so everyone could see, Hey, look, I’m doing the same exact standards in the same exact test, in the same exact environment as you are. I’m not setting it up to where I’m succeeding and you’re failing. So being upfront and honest and having measurables that everyone can see that placed on you, I think also helps as well. So that way, you’re not just this person on a high horse that’s like, Hey, do as I say, not as I do type, type figure as well.

  • Zach:

Yeah. So one of the last things I want to I want to touch on during this podcast, I think maybe one of the most important topics in where your experience and what you’ve been through in your life as a leader. Resiliency. This is what’s really interesting. So you’ve got this huge transition of people leaving jobs that they were unhappy with going to different jobs, maybe to make more money finding out it wasn’t what they thought. Going back to another job, I mean, to be honest, I would say about 50% of the employees that have come to work for us recently have taken pretty drastic pay cuts because they’re miserable. And we can’t go back and really try to create an environment where the employees have freedoms of families and they have their weekends off and we really work to make our workplace efficient so we can do that right. We don’t have that night shift stuff, and not every company has that capability. What I really see is I just see an overall unrest in the world and how can you as a leader, do resiliency training with your employees? How can you help them through that? How can you help them be like, You know what? I have peace where I’m at. I think a lot of people are. They think that changing is going to be the answer.

  • John:

Yeah. So there’s really like three things I look at, right? Burnout is real, right? And I think the one thing that that now the rest of the world is starting to realize is they aren’t as resilient as they thought. Right. In the military, you have to be resilient. Your entire job is based on your ability to bounce back from adversity. You get deployed. You have a lot of stuff that’s not under your control. So you have to either become resilient or you’re going to get kicked out, right? You’re not going to make it, you’re going to get burnout, you’re going to get stressed out. I think the pandemic right, the uncertainty, the stress, the anxiety right is building it. And for a lot of people, it’s a situation that they have not experienced before.

Right. It’s a level of awareness of the unhappiness of the grind of the hustle. It’s that lack of balance, right? So on one hand, you have increased stressors. On the other hand, you have this light work life balance thing that they’re trying to do right? And if I’m working from home is really, really hard for me to set up boundaries, right? So and I’m guilty of that myself, right? I’ve had positions where I’ve had my cell phone on me and I’m checking it, trying to make sure I, hey, I’m staying on top of stuff, right? But being able to separate your work from your life, right? If you don’t have the ability to integrate your work life, you’re not going to achieve balance. And that, I think, is really key as a leader, like you should not expect your employees to check their emails off of work hours.

You should not expect your employees to be doing work outside of work hours, right? If you have training, you want them to do, you have to go into those hours. Don’t don’t expect them to be as passionate about your job as you are right. It’s your company. They’re going to work only as hard as they have to so align that allowing them time to foster their relationships. So as a as a leader in the military, I always made it a priority for my soldiers to be there for their friends and family. Right. So if I had a soldier that had a child that had an event coming up right, maybe a school dance, maybe a game, I made it a priority for them to go do that right? Because those big life events only come around once in a while and I can do without that soldier while they go and support their family, right? And I think that’s a piece we forget as leaders is we are humans first and foremost, right? And those relationships and those people that really, really matter are their families, their friends. That’s the biggest piece, right?

And if you’re taking care of them, if you’re giving them the ability to help manage those relationships, they’re going to be a lot less stress at work, right? If they know they can come to me and take time off in a moment’s notice, if they know they can come to me and take a sick day and it’s not going to be a negative repercussion, they’re going to be much more willing to push for it and work for me. And then the last thing I would talk about is having an understanding that people are still trying to figure out the next way ahead, right? People don’t know what it’s going to look like anymore. Right. That uncertainty. How long are we going to be in the pandemic? How long can I hold a job? Right before when I was growing up, people would go on a job and spend their whole career, 50 years, 60 years working in the same job. My stepmom was a secretary at a bank, 55 years she spent doing the same job, right? Those days are gone. So the ability, like Jeff said, to jump into a job for three months, six months, one year, two years is now becoming the standard.

The ability to have side hustles, the ability to have other sources of income and the ability to diversify their income streams is huge. And as a leader, I would encourage that right. And this is this is where it’s funny because in the military, right, it’s hey, you are only a soldier and that’s all you’re going to do actively. You’re going to put all your tension in here. And then when they leave the service, they don’t know what to do right, because no one’s telling them what to do. So it’s this huge appetite right now from the super, very narrow vision to not have this thing, and it can be overwhelming.

So I would encourage leaders to help inspire those workers, right? Hey, what is it that you’re trying to do? How can I get you there, right? Is it something we can do within this job? Is it training? Is it opportunities? Is it education? Is it connections? Is a networking, right? And as you start being a value added versus a detractor, I think then you’ll start seeing that the people that you’re attracting and the people that you’re building on your team are going to be a whole lot more motivated to be there. And I’ve seen this the newest generation. So my son is 19 or almost 19. This generation is not driven by money, right, you can dangle dollars in front of them. And if they aren’t happy, if they don’t feel mentally healthy, they’re not going to be there because they and they have done a much better job of understanding like wellness is beyond just getting up and brushing your teeth and going to work right. And we make fun of right. We say, Oh, I need a stress day. I need a mental day. Well, they’ve got it right, right?

They they are, they are pacing themselves and they are putting priorities in line that we didn’t do right. They’re putting their resiliency, they’re putting their emotional health. They’re putting their time with friends and family at at a premium right. They’re living at home with their parents longer, so they don’t take on debt. They’re making the decisions, which I think in the long run is going to pay dividends. And as a leader, you have to understand like, hey, like they might be doing it better than we did it right. And that’s what you hope, right? As a parent, I hope my kids are smart and I was I hope my kids do better at my workers, my plays. I hope my soldiers do better than I did, right? Learn from the mistakes I made.

So I think those three things right understanding like, Hey. Stresses up resilience is going to be tested. Finding that balance is key, right, those those are going to pay dividends as leaders just embrace the uncertainty. Go for the ride, right? Don’t get so focused on achieving the end. Enjoy the journey, right? Enjoy that up and down. Enjoy that process as you work through it because everybody’s going to you and everyone else, right? So that’s I think, rather the cool piece.

  • Jeff:

Enjoying the journey is requires flexibility and to to, you know, as you’re talking in my mind, all I’m hearing is, you know, flexibility and really seeing your employees as a motivation multiplier. And that’s what you’ve got to tap into, in particular when you’re looking to retain those folks that are coming right out of college. Keep in mind flexibility. It’s a motivation multiplier. You’re going to get every ounce of flexibility that you offer to them back and tenfold in return.

  • John:

Exactly. I tell people all the time, I still don’t know what I want to do for a living right. I’m 41 years old. I’ve been a Major 23 years. Today, if you said, Hey, pick, pick a job that you’re going to do for the rest of your life, even they’ll tell you right? Because there’s so many things out there, right? And if you have the expectation, if you’re going to get this kid straight out of college and they’re going to know what they want to do or they’re going to know that they’re going to be successful, this that’s not possible. That’s just not practical.

  • Zach:

No, I think what you said, you said some specific side hustles or them having ambitious ambitions outside the workplace. You as a school, you as a leader, take stock, look in your toolbox. What freedoms do I have that maybe isn’t monetary that I can offer my employees as incentives? And I think that’s so important, right? If you say, Oh no, these are the strict rules. No matter how good or bad you do, you’re following these rules, you’re probably going to really struggle to motivate your team. Yeah, but I know in the military when they would say, Hey, guys, if we get all this done, you guys go home. I tell you what, you’ve never seen 100 people work so hard to get out of there, you know?

  • John:

So, yeah, yeah, time off. Keep it, people. People will do amazing things for two things, right? One is just appreciation. You’ll be amazed if if you just acknowledge them doing amazing things right, if you take the ability to say thank you or bring them up, right, hey, you got to play the month and play the week right? Just praise them in public, right? It’s amazing when people are like, Hey, look, they recognize the sacrifice that I’m doing and then to find that incentive. Time off and money. Those are the two biggest ones, right? If I can dangle additional money or if I can give you time to just do whatever you want to do, right? People will move mountains. If you design a task where you’re like, Hey, look, what’s this task if we don’t do whatever you want, right? And that’s why I love people. I have side hustles. Hey, if you’re going to come work for me, awesome. Here’s your daily task. If that takes you eight hours to composite, awesome. If it takes you four hours. Awesome, right? The rest of the day is yours. That’s that’s how you have to start getting that mindset of. Look, tie it to a metric tied to a task. Don’t tie it to, hey, you got to sit down behind this desk from nine to five and you can’t do anything else. You get a 30 minute break to eat your lunch and I don’t want to see you taking anything else, and everything you do on the computer has to be work related. Well. OK, sure. You’re going to get the wrong people working for you, and they’re not going to be nearly as motivated as you like. Hey, look like here’s a task. I don’t care how you get it done, just make sure they get done.

  • Zach:

Yeah, agreed. John, thank you so much. Just for your time today and for everybody listening. John’s a true leader and being in the military for twelve years, I’ve been in the business world. There are very few people I put up on a pedestal of someone I’m going to listen to for wisdom. And he’s one of those people and one of those people who truly cares, not one of those people that’s just going to pander to what you want to hear. And John Real quick plug for your star warrior leader because I can see actually some bigger tech departments needing some of this coaching on resiliency training, but then also just organizational structure. Can you talk a little bit about how they can reach out to you and reach out for that service?

  • John:

Yeah. So those that are interested, you need either assistance, right? I’ve got a team of coaches, professionals, subject matter experts in mental performance. I’ve got executive coaches, I’ve got resiliency coaches, life coaches, accountability coaches, right, any type of coach for any type of situation that you need, I’ve got them at the ready. You can reach me. My email is [email protected]. You can also check out the website Again, I’m working on on an Inner Circle app, so now you can really build your team, which I think as junior leaders is huge, right? The ability to have at your fingertips ability to quickly connect with key leaders to help give you that key advice is really something that we’re missing out there as well. But again, yeah, [email protected]. Easiest way to hit me up.

  • Zach:

Yeah. John, appreciate your time. Have a wonderful day. And listeners, you know anything you can pull from this. Any comments or ways we can improve? We appreciate it. Thank you.

  • John:

Awesome. Thank you.

Show transcript